One of the best strategies for sending traffic to a website is to feed the Google monster and what the Google monster loves more than anything else is frequently updated, well-written content that is useful. In fact Google loves this even more than it loves you doing all the little SEO things I mentioned in the last post in this series. So what is the best way to regularly add useful content to your website? By blogging of course. The best thing about blogging? That would be the fact that it is BOTH a great long-term AND short-term traffic driving activity. From a long-term point of view the main reason a blog is great for Google and other search engines is this:
Search engines give more weight to websites that generate a steady flow of new content. As your site ages, it is seen as less relevant and the search engine spiders will visit your site less and less. Blogs are an easy way to keep your site current. A blog’s casual nature means it can cover a wide range of topics, making it easy to come up fresh content. (From here)
So even if you only blog once a week, that means your website is kept nice and fresh and never gets a chance to age. Even better, all that content builds up over the years to give Google lots of reasons to send search traffic your way. What about the short-term? Well have a think about your website right now. Is there any reason for you to tell your clients ‘hey, go have a look at my website’? Probably not. They’re not really going to be interested in checking out your About Us page or your Services page. They already know who you are and what you do. But what if you wrote a blog post about something interesting? Something that is relevant to them? Well that gives you a GREAT reason to touch base with your clients and send them to your website.
My finance guys recently put a post on their website about how many oil and gas workers are still struggling financially despite the boom. Now I am not an oil and gas worker, but I am definitely curious to know how people earning six figure incomes could be struggling! Last week my husband and I officially launched a new venture. The website had been soft launched a month earlier and was tracking at around 0-2 hits a day. I wrote a couple of highly relevant blog posts and shared them with my twitter friends. My awesome twitter friends shared the links widely within their respective networks and suddenly we had the spike in site visits you can see below.
Ironically The Smile Collective site started life as a blog. I had grand plans of posting something smile-worthy there every single day. Unfortunately my ambitions were not matched by reality and when I had to jettison commitments last year, the Smile blog fell fallow. Then last month I got a little sad about some online nastiness that I was observing in my networks and one night impulsively created this Manifesto for Kindness and posted it on my personal blog. Well you never really know what is going to touch a nerve with people but this manifesto sure did and it was shared far and wide all over Facebook, twitter, pinterest and other people’s blogs. Which made me realise that people really like my manifestos. Even better, I love creating them as they combine my two creative loves – writing and designing. They are also very shareable (ie people like them and share them with their friends) so I issued myself with a challenge to revive the Smile blog and publish a new manifesto there each week. If you have a look at the below you can see the two spikes in traffic on the days I published first a Manifesto for Success and then a Manifesto for Youth. I realise we are not talking massive numbers here, but publishing these two blogs posts more than doubled my regular traffic on those days which is pretty worthwhile I think!
The best thing about blogging is that anyone can do it. You don’t need to be an awesome writer and you don’t need to work in a super interesting industry to make a blog work for your business. I know you’re still not convinced though so feel free to check out this great post from Karen Gunton of Build a Little Biz. It addresses all the concerns most businesses have when I tell them “you really need a blog”. Now I know what your next question is going to be … How do I promote my blog posts? Well that is what I shall be covering next week when I tackle social media + email lists. Till then, you know the drill – feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments, otherwise … stay cool!